Operations Manager, Northern
I have had a long standing interest in the area of technology and disability sector. Coming to work at TalkLink has really been the perfect fit in bringing these areas and related skills together.
I have previously worked as an Occupational Therapist in both acute and community based health settings since 1998. Exposure to multiple workplace and multidisciplinary team environments has provided valuable experience across a range practice areas including, wheelchairs and seating, hand therapy, worksite ergonomics, and adaptive building design. I have assisted with individual, family and community based projects, and also provided training packages to support workers and other education facilities. Joining TalkLink in 2006 provided the opportunity to combine the various compatible skills and familiarity with funding processes to explore assistive technology options for people with disabilities.
I was appointed as Manager at TalkLink’s Auckland office in September 2007. This role has two components. The first of which remains client focused with assessment, application and training of communication and assistive technology. The second part of this role is with managing Talklink’s Auckland based service. Primary responsibilities involve developing and supporting staff to meet and excel with service standards in the area of communication assistive technology. I manage incoming referrals and allocation, manage budget allocations, and help develop service initiatives with projects and general processes in general day to day operations. Regular contact with the TalkLink General Manager provides continued support and alignment with the vision set by the Talklink Trust Board.
Technology will always continue to change and develop, making both old and new ideas to become reality. This will continue to broaden the access and freedom for those with disabilities; making it a continually rewarding area to be involved in.
Assistive Technical Support
I started working for TalkLink in 2011. I’m the other Tech/Admin Support person for TalkLink Auckland. I mostly deal with maintenance, preparation, and repairs of TalkLink’s and Client’s AAC devices. I also maintain/develop a small amount of TalkLink’s IT infrastructure.
I’ve been interested in computers and mobile tech since a young age and find myself learning a lot of valuable, and interesting, skills and knowledge working at TalkLink.
Speech Language Therapist
I trained as a speech and language therapist at the University of Canterbury, graduating in 2015. Throughout my time studying I was fortunate to experience a wide range of placements with both paediatric and adult populations, and this included a 3-month block at a specialist school. It was there that I entered the wonderful world of AAC and learned how powerful it can be for those who use it.
I have since worked in two different specialist school settings across 7 years in both Hamilton and Auckland, supporting a diverse range of children and young adults to find their voice through AAC solutions. I’ve gained extensive experience in creating an aided language environment in classrooms and homes using a range of tools, including PODDs and core boards. My passion for tech continues to grow as I see regularly how it can empower a person to show off their personality, communicate what they want for themselves, and enable the autonomy they deserve.
My time at TalkLink began in early 2023; a natural progression of my love for AAC and an opportunity for me to use and expand the skills I’ve gained in this sector. I believe robust collaboration and treating clients as true individuals is essential to success, and I am thrilled to have the chance to do so here at TalkLink.
Occupational Therapist (Parental leave)
I joined the TalkLink team in early 2017 as a new graduate Occupational Therapist.
As a student I had the opportunity to gain experience in a range of settings including older adults, child and adolescent mental health, and wheelchairs and seating, however I have always enjoyed working with children. I gained interest in assistive technology after working as a teacher aid in a special school before I began studying occupational therapy through AUT. Having worked in a classroom of young adults with complex needs, I have always had a keen interest in the use of technology to access the curriculum and their wider world. I find the ever changing nature of technology exciting as it is constantly opening up new possibilities. I worked closely alongside a number of students using assistive technology and saw how it empowered them to increase their independence and participation. It was at this time I realised that I was also in a position to advocate for those who may have less opportunity to do so; something I am very passionate about.
Being part of the team at TalkLink allows me to continue to increase my knowledge around assistive technology and also my love of working with children.
Speech Language Therapist (Parental Leave)
I joined the TalkLink team in March 2016. Prior to this I worked as a Speech Language Therapist for The Ministry of Education for 4 years supporting children with a range of moderate to complex communication needs within numerous education contexts. I have had experience working with adult clients in both hospital and community health settings during clinical placements. Before gaining my Masters in Speech Language Therapy practice from The University of Auckland in 2011, I completed a BSc(Hons) and travelled around the world for 3 years.
In all roles I have enjoyed working with clients and their teams to help identify appropriate learning and communication solutions. I have experience using both high and low tech alternative and augmentative communication systems and am passionate about empowering children and adults to access functional communication and participation in all areas of their daily lives.
After obtaining my degree in Psychology, I worked for a multi-national company overseas. Prior to working at TalkLink Trust I worked in the Health sector for 13 years.
I now manage Referrals, queries and provide admin support to the Upper North Island team. It is fascinating and satisfying to see how Assistive Technology helps people communicate and the difference it makes to people, thus helping them have a better quality of life.
Clinical Leader, Occupational Therapist
I am an English trained Occupational Therapist who graduated in 2006 and moved to New Zealand in 2008. I have experience working within a range of hospital settings in England (including orthopaedics, acute neurological rehab and rheumatology / hand therapy), but have predominantly worked in a Community OT role in New Zealand completing assessment of functional ability and carrying out interventions including complex equipment provision, housing modifications and wheelchair and seating. Having carried out Postgraduate study in Accessibility & Inclusive Design I gained a strong interest in the use of technology and environmental design and their potential application in increasing independence, social inclusion and occupational performance. I believe that the ability of a person to communicate within and interact with their environment is central to minimising disability and social barriers.
I joined TalkLink in March 2014 in order to work in a setting that allows me to further expand and implement my learning in assistive technology, and provide a client centred service to meet client goals.
Speech Language Therapist
I graduated from Massey University in 2014 and completed my final placement as a student at TalkLink Trust. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here as a student and so it is great to be back in a professional role.
Before starting at TalkLink I was working in a special school for three years. Over this time I gained experience in working with students aged 5-21 with a variety of communication needs. I enjoyed working with a range of students including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, facilitating them to express themselves and supporting their access to the curriculum.
I have always been passionate about giving people a voice and allowing them to actively participate in their lives and access their community. In 2016 I completed my post graduate certificate in speech language therapy with a focus on supporting the use of assistive technology in classrooms and natural settings. I thoroughly enjoyed my research and found that the more I looked into implementing augmentative and alternative communication, the more passionate I became about it.
I completed the Bachelor in Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy) in 2007. My postgraduate experiences and training have focused around accreditation in functional assessment and provision of therapy services for all ages, infant to older person. I have experience working within the community to provide therapy services and behaviour support programs for people who have limitations within the area of orthopaedics, neurology, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and sensory processing or developmental delay. I have also had the opportunity to work within community settings to facilitate child development and parenting groups, and I have occasionally represented the occupational therapy profession when discussing child development and access to play-based learning on a morning TV breakfast show.
I am a keen therapist who enjoys working with clients who require assistive technology to reach their goals and full potential in communication and access to meaningful tasks.
Speech Language Therapist
Ko Maunagtapere te maunga
Ko Wairua te awa
Ko Maungarongo te marae
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka
Ko Hineamaru te Ranagatira
Ko Ngāpuhi me Ngāti Hine nga iwi
Ko te Uriroroi te hapu
Ko Claire Crooks toku ingoa
I graduated from Massey University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Speech Language Therapy. During my time at Massey I received a number of clinical experience opportunities with adults and paediatric clients across educational and health settings. This included a placement at the TalkLink Trust in 2019.
Following this, I worked as a Speech-Language Therapist in the Ministry of Education for two years. In this role I supported children with a range of moderate to complex communication needs within many education contexts. I was able to work collaboratively with teams, students, and whānau to implement low tech AAC.I found great enthusiasm for AAC as I could see the confidence and positive influence it has on the students and their whānau.
I joined the TalkLink Auckland team in 2022. I enjoy working with a wide range of clients, teams, and whānau to support them in finding the right communication solutions to support participation in their daily lives.
I have been been employed at TalkLink since 2007 in various positions, Finance Manager Support, Receptionist and then back to Finance when the role became available.
My main role is all aspects of finance related tasks, and to support the staff at TalkLink in any way needed. I am also responsible for arranging Vehicle Servicing and Repairs for our staff cars, and relieve at Reception when required.
Before my appointment at TalkLink in September 2007, I have been busy raising a family of five. I have worked in various different roles, starting as a Savings Bank Clerk at the NZ Post Office in Auckland.
I then travelled overseas on a working holiday to Europe for two years. Upon my return, I went back into clerical work. After two years I went travelling overseas once again, then returned to start a family.
I was a full time parent to five sons until my fourth son went to school.I then trained and worked as a Kitchen Design Consultant and Receptionist, until I was expecting my fifth child. Once he was at school I was offered a position at TalkLink as Finance Manager Support.
I have been here ever since, except for a short break in 2012, before coming back to TalkLink. I have learned so much since I started here, and continue to be amazed at what Assistive Technology has to offer those that need it to communicate, and to have a more satisfying life.
Speech Language Therapist
I graduated with a Master of Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Canterbury in 2018. Before joining the Talklink team in April 2022, I worked for the Ministry of Education for 3 years as a Speech Language Therapist supporting children with communication needs. Later in my time with the Ministry I took on the role of Assistive Technology Coordinator, and supported schools with selecting, trialling and applying for assistive technology to support learning and participation.
I enjoy getting to know my clients and finding creative ways to remove barriers to communication and learning, and it is rewarding to see how this can impact all areas of their lives. I hope to continue supporting people to view themselves as competent communicators, advocate for themselves, and maintain or improve their quality of life through AAC solutions.
Clinical Leader, Speech Language Therapist
I joined TalkLink in November 2011. I have worked as a Speech and Language Therapist since 2008 working mostly with the school aged population. I studied at City University London and my first job was working with mainstream school children in North London. I moved to Auckland in February 2011 and spent my first 8 months working as a contractor for GSE Auckland City. In all my roles I have worked with AAC (low and high tech) and also provided training to internal and external groups.
My passion is working with profound and multiple learning disabilities and providing communication solutions for clients and their families. I am also passionate about raising awareness of speech, language and communication needs across both the child and adult populations. I am looking forward to facing new challenges and working in an area that is constantly changing.
Project lead - Tua o te Pae
Assistive Technology Support
I was born in Korea and migrated to New Zealand with my family. I completed my schooling in New Zealand then I graduated from the Master of Speech Language Therapy Practice from the University of Auckland in 2014. I worked as a Speech Language Therapist for The Ministry of Education for 6 years, supporting children and young people with complex communication needs in a variety of educational settings. I have worked with adults in hospitals and community settings and I proactively continue to support adults with communication difficulties through various volunteering positions.
I have a special interest in aided and unaided AAC for communication and speech disorders and supporting early and emergent literacy. I enjoy working with a variety of different people and get real satisfaction when I am able to support the AAC user and the wider team to start seeing and feeling successful in their everyday communication within their daily routines.
Speech Language Therapist
I was born in Zimbabwe and moved to New Zealand in 2001. I graduated from Massey University in 2011 as a Speech-Language Therapist and started working at a special school and a mainstream school in Auckland. While working in special education I completed my Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Emergent Literacy for Students with Complex Communication Needs. Throughout that time I worked with several TalkLink therapists to assess, trial communication devices and provide training for students and their families who required alternative communication systems and strategies to support and enhance their communication. The more I worked in the area of augmentative and alternative communication the more passionate I became about it.
I started working at TalkLink’s Northern office in October 2013 and have covered several regional areas during this time. In 2018 I completed my Masters in Speech Therapy, focusing on the experience of children and families who attend KiwiChat Camp. I am passionate about providing the right communication solution for clients and their families, whether it is giving advice on strategies or making recommendations about low or high tech communication systems.
Speech Language Therapist (Parental Leave)
I grew up in London and graduated from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff in 2007 after completing a BSc Honours degree in Speech-Language Therapy.
I moved to New Zealand in 2008 and worked in a hospital with adults with acquired communication and swallowing difficulties. In 2010 I moved to work with paediatric clients with a wide variety of communication difficulties in settings including mainstream and specialist schools, early childhood centres and homes. I have held a specialist role in the UK in a school for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder aged between five and 18.
I am passionate about the importance of all individuals having access to autonomous communication. It was this passion that originally led me to a career in speech-language therapy, and more specifically into the field of alternative and augmentative communication.
I enjoy empowering individuals, their whanāu and the wider team. Working together, we can find the most suitable communication system for each person, giving them a voice to participate and achieve their full potential.
I have been a user of Assistive Technology for a number of years. Since graduating from Mt Roskill Grammar in 2002, I have been working at TalkLink in a clinical assistant role to support staff. I am responsibility for developing communication resources including creating symbol resources on BoardMaker, and programming communication devices.
Speech Language Therapist
I was born in the United States and migrated to New Zealand when I was a young child. I realised the importance of communication from a young age when observing the differences in social communication, jargon, and accents between the two cultures. One story that may be familiar to some, was when my family were asked to “bring a plate” to an event. The phrase “bring a plate” is not common in the US, so my family brought just a plate, not knowing the plate was meant to have food on it!
I completed my schooling in New Zealand and trained as a speech and language at Massey University. After graduating, I moved to Taranaki and worked with children from 3-21 years of age at the Ministry of Education. These children had a range of communication needs and many of the children required alternative forms of communication, or AAC. My love for AAC was sparked as I saw the difference that it could make to a person’s autonomy, interactions and overall wellbeing.
After my time in Taranaki, I worked at special schools in the UK and NZ to support students with a range of communication needs. Part of my job in these roles was to find AAC that would best suit the students that I worked with. I loved seeing how the right piece of equipment could make such a difference to someone’s ability to communicate and look forward to continuing this work at TalkLink.
I joined the TalkLink Northern Region team in 2021 as a Speech and Language Therapist. I completed my undergraduate studies in 1996 in Birmingham, UK, before heading to New Zealand. I’ve worked extensively in the Education and Adult disability sectors across UK and NZ – particularly in Auckland and Northland. Recently in the UK, I worked exclusively in the field of AAC and I caught the AAC bug. I worked in a generalist special school, as well as a Conductive Education setting, working alongside primary and secondary students on their AAC journey. I was fortunate to work alongside skilled multidisciplinary teams who all focused on AAC. I believe that working in this team environment is a key element of successful AAC implementation.
I love learning and sharing knowledge and am excited by the fast pace world of technology. I am passionate about giving vulnerable people a voice and supporting their ability to participate with independence in all areas of life.
Clinical Leader, Speech language Therapist
I have worked for TalkLink since 2010, starting in the Central team before relocating back to Auckland. In 2019 I became a Clinical Leader within the TalkLink team. I currently cover the wider Auckland and Hawkes Bay regions.
I have experience working with clients of all ages and with a wide range of disabilities across multiple regions within the North Island. I thrive on a challenge, and enjoy finding the best solution for my clients and their teams. I have a particular interest in working with clients with multiple and profound disabiliites, degenerative conditions and those in acute hospital care. I enjoy working with technology and ensuring that systems are able to work well for clients and their teams.
I provide support for therapists to obtain their CATL1 accredication and support training workshops to upskill in AAC.
Speech Language Therapist
I have a Psychology degree and a primary teaching qualification from the UK, and have been a special needs teacher, both in NZ and overseas since 1993. I have spent most of my teaching career working with children with complex communication needs and, thanks to all my amazing students over the years, have developed a love of AAC.
I have been working for TalkLink as a resource teacher since 2001, returning to the classroom several times in between to keep my teaching skills on track. I love the combination of teaching and working for TalkLink as my TalkLink time keeps me right up to date with the latest developments in technology and resources, and my teaching time allows me to use and develop these skills in real environments.
I am currently based in the north of the country, working out of Whangarei and supporting Northland and the Far North. I also travel to other parts of the country regularly to provide training and support to my speech-language therapy colleagues.
I recently was fortunate to travel to Australia to complete a literacy intensive course focused on developing literacy skills for students with complex communication needs. This has added a whole new set of tools to my tool box which I am looking forward to sharing with teaching colleagues across the country.
Speech language Therapist
I graduated from Massey University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Speech Language Therapy. During my time at Massey, I was fortunate enough to gain clinical practice in the area of Assistive Technology as a student during a placement at the TalkLink Trust in 2014, which sparked my interest in AAC. I also received clinical experience with both adult and paediatric clients across educational and health settings.
Following this I worked been as a Speech-Language Therapist in a special school in Auckland for nearly two years. Throughout this time, I worked with both children and young adults from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds with complex speech, language, swallowing and learning difficulties. A large part of my role involved working collaboratively with teams, students and their whanau to implement low, mid and high tech AAC within the educational setting. Within this role, my enthusiasm for AAC grew as I could see the positive impact that supporting my students to find their voice had in their participation and confidence as communicators.
I joined the TalkLink Auckland team at the beginning of 2017. I am passionate about empowering and facilitating clients to reach their full potential through communication by working as a team to find the right communication solutions to meet their needs.
I returned to the TalkLink Team after a 2 year stint in the UK where I was working in mainstream schools, supporting students to access the curriculum. During my studies I gained valuable experiences in the community (mental/physical), orthopaedic, paediatric and neurological settings. It was when I was working in a special school, that I was instantly drawn to assistive technology, when I saw how it empowered students to communicate and participate in meaningful activities.
I enjoy working with clients and those supporting them to use assistive technology to achieve their goals.